LESSON INFORMATION

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2015 Show Team

THEC, hands down, has the most diverse and largest pool of trained lesson horses in the Kansas City area! We have several horses that are appropriate for teaching beginner children and adults on up to horses that can take you to some of the most advanced levels of competition (3 of our lesson horses can be shown up to 4'6"!). All of our horses are chosen for their kind temperament before being trained to join our lesson program. Not only do we have 15 lesson horses- but most of them also attend regular shows and can take you to the ribbons! Two of our lesson horses have been in the top 15 for AQHA Jumpers IN THE WORLD for 2010, 2011 and 2012 while others have year-end, regional and state titles. In THEC, we pride ourselves in taking riders from the ground up- from little to no experience to a rider who can really know how to ride- not just sit on a horse!

Hunter/Jumper/Equitation (English riding) - Beginner through Advanced lessons offered to ages 3+

All group lessons are taught by Professional instructor Amara Packwood. Amara is highly qualified with a B.S. in Equestrian Science and over 15 years of showing horses. She has trained and ridden horses to many local and regional championships in the Hunter/Jumper and other disciplines. Amara and her own horse, Prince Dell Te Fire, have ridden to two Jumping World Champion titles and have competed in the Grand Prix arena.  


"I'm often asked (by parents new to horses), What skills do riding lessons teach young children? The key during the beginning lessons is to teach balance on a horse, the basics of riding and control, relaxation, light hands and a relaxed seat. They develop strength to use leg pressure, control their body to quietly mount and balance to dismount. In addition, they should learn that horses aren't there just to be ridden- they require special diets and care to be able to be happy and healthy. Proper grooming, tacking, cooling out and being put back to pasture is all part of riding a horse. A child should learn to be confident but firm around such a large animal. Only the calmest and kindest natured horses, with superior training should be used to introduce a young rider to riding."
-Amara Packwood

Horseback Riding Lessons teach our children more than just how to stay on the back of a horse.  That is only a very, very small part of what riding lessons can do for your child.  Imagine the confidence that your child will develop when they have total control over that 1,000 pound horse!  What an amazing confidence booster!

Lessons teach poise, balance and coordination.  Posting the trot, two-point, cantering- it all takes practice and a little hard work. Riding lessons also teach a certain etiquette and manners that are expected in the arena.  These are lessons that will prepare your child to excel wherever their life path may lead them.   The proper manners and etiquette that are learned for the horse showing world are many of the same manners expected in certain situations in life. How to pass another rider in the ring, what to do when another rider is strugling with their animal or how to handle when your own ride doesn't go quite as planned. In the show ring, winning or losing, learning to appreciate what you learned from your performance how to cheer on a friend or even give a hand to a rider less experienced then you. They will gain the poise and ability to remain calm in stressful situations.  We all can say that would be a great asset to have. 

Giving your child horseback riding lessons can provide a lifetime of confidence, self assurance and poise that will serve them well during their lifetime.  It is well worth the resources that you put toward the development and education of your children.

 



PRICING AND SCHEDULE

 

PRICING**
  • GROUP (1 hour)
    • Monthly Subscription*
      • 4 lesson month @ $125
      • 5 lesson month @ $156
        • *Note: Students must pay a minimum of 4 lessons to qualify for group pricing.

  • PRIVATE/EVALUATION/INTRODUCTORY (1/2 hour riding time)
    • $65 per lesson / per rider
      • All new students who want to join groop lessons are required to take an introductory/evaluation lesson. This lesson takes approximately 2 hours total.

  • LEAD LINE (20 minutes riding time)
    • $25 per lesson / per rider
      • Ages 3-8
      • This lesson is designed to introduce young children to riding. It is a one-on-one lesson with your instructor and your horse will be tacked and untacked for you.
        • Lead Line lessons are meant to be focused on walking, fun games and learning to be comfortable on a horse, when a rider is able to trot on their own they will be moved to group lessons.
  • PAIRS Class / SEMI-PRIVATE (1 hour)
    • This group lesson slot is locked to just you and your riding buddy.
      • Parent/Child ("mommy and me")
      • Couples
      • Friends
      • 4 lesson month @ $400 (for both people)
      • 5 lesson month @ $500 (for both people)

  • EXTRA RIDES (30 mins)
    • Only to approved lesson students. These rides are outside of lesson times when a horse is used lightly in lessons for that week.
      • $20/per ride

  • LEASES
    • Rider MUST a maintain a weekly lesson in addition to the lease cost to be eligible.
    • Beginner horses start at $200 for half lease, $250 starting for a show horse on half lease.
      • Half lease: $200-$400/month (up to 3 rides per week)
      • Full lease: $350-$500/month (up to 6 rides per week)
**Paypal payments will have an 5% additional fee to the prices above.
  • LESSONS are only booked ONLINE and MUST be paid in advance. Do to a large number of no-shows, we do not accept bookings over the phone or by email. However, we are HAPPY to answer any questions you have before booking!
  • *Group lessons must be paid each month before the 2nd to last day of the previous month.
    • The FULL MONTH must be paid at that time (lessons are a monthly subscription).  Your amount due will depend on the day you ride on- you will pay for the number of weeks in each month ($125 or $156). 
  • Makeup for lessons will only be granted with a 32 hour online cancelation of your scheduled lesson time (9am the day prior). If proper notification is given you will be allowed to reschedule without penalty. If proper notification isn't given you will forfeit that lesson without reimbursement. There are no refunds on lesson payments.
  • Lesson payments are not refunded for any reason.
  • Safety is emphasized! Students are required to wear a hard hat (helmet) and boots at all times when they are mounted. Students must provide proper footwear for lessons (a boot with a 1/2" heal, no tennis shoes). After their first month of riding, students are required to provide their own helmet. We also highly suggest breeches, half chaps and english paddock boots, though all of these items are required for students jumping 2' or higher. All saddles and tack are provided.
  • Students agree to fix any tack which they accidently break at cost (tack that breaks from normal wear doesn't fall under this). This includes all equipment up to saddles.
  • New students must sign a release waver before working with the horses. Riders under 18 need to have a parent or legal guardian sign. Please be informed of the Kansas Equine Law.

 

Rider levels:

Beginner: A new rider or a rider being reintroduced to horses. Beginner riders will walk/trot only, they do not canter. Trot may be for short lengths of time and rider may not always be able to keep horse on the rail. Jumps ground rails to 18 inches.

Intermediate: Typically a rider that has ridden with THEC for less then 1 year. An intermediate rider is expected to efficiently, correctly and safely walk, trot and canter. They must be able to keep their horse on the rail, pass correctly and are expected to jump 2ft+. Rider should have balance independent of their horse (steady/correct hands, able to ride without stirrups, etc)

Advanced: These riders range greatly, but are typically a minimum of 14 years of age. They must be able to walk, trot, canter and hand gallop. They are able to jump over 3ft, ride inside and outside of the arena and maintain control of their mount while looking out for less experienced riders. Advanced riders understand balance and rythm, why we use differnt types of tack and how to use different excercises to aid a horse in furthering it's training. Advanced riders at THEC will also be have extra opportunities in and outside of lessons to work with young horses and learn about training.


 

 

 


OUR LESSON POLICY

At THEC we believe that our lesson horses are our companions and friends. We do not treat our horses as machines and as such follow very strict policy to assure that they are happy and healthy mentally and physically. Points of our beliefs include:

  • No horse is permitted to do more then 2 lessons per day (though they usually only do 1).
  • Our horses are given a minimum of 2 days off per week. They are also ideally given the day after a horse show off.
  • We will not drug, lunge (run) or put training/head setting devices to make a horse suitable for a particular rider to ride. We believe that if a rider is unable to control a horse without him being worn out or restrained first then that rider is not advanced enough or that horse is inappropriate as a lesson horse.
  • All of our lesson horses have a stall to sleep in at night and in bad weather. Horses in work need to be grained to maintain their weight, stamina and health- all of our lesson horses are given grain and hay 2x daily (and all have constant round baled hay access when outside).
  • Our lesson horses have daily, day-long turnout (when the weather is nice). As an athlete they need to be able to move to maintain their muscle fitness. As an animal they need to have pasture time to maintain a sound mind as well as interact with a herd ("hang out with friends").
  • Our lesson horses are vaccinated yearly, have regular hoof care (and shoes if needed), are wormed every 3 months and have regular vet visits.

    We encourage anyone to seeking a lesson barn to strive for a barn with all of the above policies in place so that you and the horses are housed in a safe, happy and healthy environment :-)


  • Our tack is repaired as needed and inspected by a professional tack repairer. (We ask that our students to help us out by reporting any broken tack or loose stitching that they find)
  • All riders under 18 and any riders that are jumping are required to wear a helmet. We have helmets in several sizes to be borrowed when needed, but each rider should purchase their own.
  • Each horse has their own bridle so that fitting is not an issue.
  • THEC has 18 high-quality english (hunter/jumper) saddles available for student use. Each horse has a list of pre-fitted saddles that fit them (with wither pads if needed) to help the saddle fit securely (just as not every shirt will fit you not every saddle will fit every horse). This ensures that each horse is comfortable in a properly fitting saddle so as to not make them sore or grumpy.



  • Lesson Horse Bridles

    Lesson Saddles

 

 

LESSONS FAQ

 

 

May I stop by/come for a tour?
What days/times may I take lessons?

What if I start lesson in the middle of the month?
Do you go to horse shows?
How early should I arrive for my lesson?
How do I get into a group lesson?
How many riders are in a group lesson?
What do I need to wear/bring to riding class?
Where can I buy riding gear locally?
How should I pay you for my regular monthly lesson?
What kinds of things do I learn in lessons?
What opportunities are there outside of lessons?
What kinds of things do I learn in lessons?
Can you walk me through a typical first lesson?
How far in advance and I book for my first lesson?

How long will I be at the barn?

How old does my child have to be to take riding lessons?
Do you offer any additional discounts for multiple riders or military?
Is there an age limit on riding lessons?

May I bring my own horse for lessons?
Can I bring my own saddle?
Can I show on your horses?
Do you rent horses for riding?
Do you have any horses for lease?
Do you offer english/western lessons?
Do you accept part time students?
What weather conditions will you cancel lessons?
Will you teach at an outside location?
Can I work off my lesson?

Is there a weight limit for riding?

Do you offer Hippotherapy, therapeutic or special needs classes?
What if my child decides to no longer ride?
Bounced Checks

 

May I stop by/come for a tour?
As THEC is a private facility, please do not show up without an appointment. Due to high demand for our lesson program and limited availability, we are no longer offering tours. Riders who book for an introductory/evaluation lesson will be given a tour at that time.

What days/times may I take lessons?
Lessons are currently offered on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday in the evening (5pm and 6pm for groups- private lessons are scheudled outside of group times). Year round occasional reschedules may happen due to horse shows, foxhunting and other fun barn events.

New students will be required to take a private lesson for evaluation/introduction to the barn. For riders with no or limited riding experience, several private lessons after the evaluation lesson may be required before the rider will allowed to join group lessons. These introduction lessons are scheduled in open slots or on weekends and are scheduled week by week. When the students basic riding skills are developed they will be moved into an appropriate group lesson. All students must be able to catch, groom and tack their horse on their own before they will be allowed to join groups. Younger students will need to be assisted by their parents.

What if I start lessons in the middle of the month?
When you start lessons in the middle of the month, we will pro-rate the lessons for that month.

Do you go to horse shows?
Absolutely! And we encourage all levels of riders to attend horse shows with us, as space allows. We haul our horses as well as clients horses with our one of our F350 dually trucks and our 4 or 6 horse slant trailers (both xwide/xtall). Students/parents who are showing or grooming are welcome to ride in the truck with us as space allows (or we can find you a ride with another THEC student).

We currently attend nearly every show of the KHJA (hunter/jumper) circuit as well as several shows from MACTHA (eventing) and KSQHA (Kansas Quarter Horse Association).

In addition to the above we host barn shows throughout the year for just members of THEC and their families to enjoy. Our THEC Spring and Summer series shows consist of 5 shows each, with an awards ceremony and overall series ribbons and awards.

How early should I arrive for my lesson?
New riders will be assisted with tacking until they are comfortable with the process. New riders (introductory lessons) will need to arrive at their scheduled lesson time until advised otherwise. Parents are expected to learn with and help groom/tack for young riders that cannot do it on their own.

Riders that are familiar with the program and tacking are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to your lesson time to give you time to catch, groom and tack your horse. If you are the first lesson of the day, please do not arrive more than 45 minutes before your scheduled lesson time- the tack rooms will be locked! You will be expected to be tacked and ready to ride at your scheduled time. Late arrivals will still end at the scheduled time to keep from interfering with the other scheduled lessons.

How do I get into a group lesson?
For safety, all new students will be coached individually (private lessons) until their basic riding skills are developed. Riders with previous riding experience will also be required to take a private (evaluation) lesson to determine their experience level, and possibly several after that to learn barn routine. Riders are grouped by similar riding level and age. MOST beginner teen/adult riders and riders with previous experience are able to move into group lessons after their initial introductory/private lesson.

  • To be ready for a group lesson you must be able to:
    • Safely catch & lead your horse from the pasture.
    • Properly groom your horse including thoroughly picking out hooves.
    • Be able to tack properly and safely.
    • Ride in the arena safely with other riders.

      Younger students may move into groups but will need to be assisted by their parents in order to be allowed to do so. DO NOT drop off your children and expect them to catch/tack by themselves or someone to do it for you!

How many riders are in a group lesson?
Group lessons during the week are typically scheduled with 3-5 riders, with 5 being the max.

What do I need to wear/bring to riding class?
Recommended attire:
Breeches (tan for showing, any color for practice)
Black english paddock boots (NOT western boots)
Black half-chaps
Riding helmet (must be fitted correctly! I will check it before you ride, don't remove tags just in case)

Riders are highly encouraged to wear breeches (these can be purchased for as low as $25 at many tack shops or online), but pants must be worn- shorts are not allowed and no "bling" pants (they scratch up saddles). A full length shirt, boots with a 1/2" heal (no tennis shoes, high-heels or hiking boots with large tread). It is always encouraged to bring a drink such as water or Gatorade in the summer to stay hydrated or hot chocolate in the winter to stay warm. Riders are also highly encouraged to have their own riding helmet fitted (no bicycle helmets are allowed), however several helmets will be available to borrow.

ABSOLUTELY NO riding in tennis shoes, sneakers, flat shoes or pants with studs/glitter/etc on them (they scratch the saddles). If riders show up with any of those articles on they will not be allowed to ride.

Where can I buy riding gear locally?
We have several pairs of used and new breeches for sale at the barn for a GREAT discount!

CM Tack in Shawnee, KS offers a large selection of english tack and will be able to correctly and fully outfit you. www.cmtack.com/

Kansas County in downtown Leavenworth has a small selection of english tack. They are primarily western, so be mindful NOT buy western boots for your lessons and be sure that you get english paddock boots (western boots can be uncomfortable and slick for riding english). www.kansascountry.com/

How should I pay you for my regular monthly lessons?
Montly classes must be paid in full BY the 3rd to last day of the previous month. Booking for make ups opens on the last day of the month. All booking is done online at: www.thec.acuityshceduling.com payments are also made through the system using paypal, where you can pay by echeck, credit card or bank transfer.

What kinds of things do I learn in lessons?
Lessons are adapted to fit the age and experience of the individual rider and geared towards their individual goals. In all cases safety is emphasized.

Riders are expected to know all aspects of horse care, at our barn you won't get to 'just ride'. You will learn to lead, groom, tack up, cool out your horse, clean your tack and care for your horse in a safe manner.

Can you walk me through a typical first lesson?
You will be given a tour of the barn and a general introduction to the tack we use. You will be asked to sign a hold harmless & payment is due at this time. Once this is finished, we will go to meet your lesson horse for the day. Amara, an advanced student or an employee will assist you with the grooming and tacking procedure, teaching you the names of the equipment and parts of the horse as well as all the reasons of 'why'. You will be properly fitted with a helmet and then go to the arena to mount up! For those new to riding, your first lesson may be taught on a lounge line (a long rope that the instructor uses to hold the horse). After the lesson you will untack and groom your horse, then clean your bit, girth and sweep your tack stall. Then feed your lesson horse a few treats! Lots of picture opportunities.

Expect your first ride to take 45 mins to tack, 30 min to ride and another 30 minutes to cool down & put your horse away.

How far in advance can I book for my first lesson?
ALL booking for introductory/evaluation lessons must be done online and paid in advance through paypal. You can book 2 days in advance up to 2 weeks, depending on my availability.

How long will I be at the barn?
Once you are familiar with the routine, expect 30 minutes to catch/tack your horse, 30 or 60 minutes of riding and another 20 minutes to untack your horse and clean up. Of course, there's no reason not to stick around after your lesson! You can learn a lot from watching other riders or helping with evening chores after lessons.

    What opportunities are there outside of lessons?
    Opportunities for students to ride in events outside of lessons vary greatly depending on the age, experience, ability, dedication and (for children) parental support. Opportunities include: horse shows from fun shows at the barn to local schooling shows and 'A' shows such as the American Royal, trail rides, foxhunting, and parades. Learning opportunities are endless from students being welcome to tag along to local horse sales (learn about breeds, confirmation, etc), clinics and barn trips to watch Grand Prix jumping. Don't forget the (kid friendly) barn parties! The adults also often get together for social dinners at a local restaurant.

    How old does my child have to be to start riding lessons?
    For group lessons my recommendation is to wait until they are 6 years old and showing a great interest in riding & horse care, not just brushing and feeding. Riders need to be able to trot on their own and do most of their own tacking.

    Lead-line lessons are open to riders 3-8 years old.

    ADULT participation is REQUIRED for EVERY LESSON for young students- you will need to be there to learn with your child so that you can assist them in tacking when need be.

    Do you offer any multiple rider or military discounts?
    We do not offer any rider discounts.

    Is there an age limit on riding lessons?
    Absolutely not, there is no such thing as being too old to ride! Please note, however, that there is a weight limit.

    May I bring my own horse for lessons?
    Yes, as long as your horse is approved to be safe for lessons. There is no haul in fee for lessons. You will be required to bring in a COPY of their coggins and proof of vaccinations. The copy of their coggins and proof of vaccination will be kept on file. There are no additional fees or discounts for using your own horse in lessons.

    Can I bring my own saddle?
    Maybe. If your saddle fits the horse you are riding then yes, otherwise you will need to use a lesson saddle that fits correctly. Saddle fit is very important to keep our horses comfortable during lessons and sound for their lifetime.

    Can I show your horses?
    Absolutely! Most of THEC's lesson horses are also winning show mounts. We regularly attend shows throughout Kansas and KCMO. Occasionally we attend shows out of state as well as "A" shows and AQHA World Championships.

    Do you 'rent' horses for riding?
    No, horses are only available to be ridden in lessons with the instructor present.
    Handing over the reigns of a show/lesson horse to an unknown rider is like handing over the keys to a high-end sports car to a new driver. It's not safe situation for the rider or horse.

    Do you have horses for lease?
    I typically do have horses available for 1/2 lease. I do not lease my horses outside of my facility, nor do I have time to help outside riders find a lease.

  • PARTIAL (half) LEASE: gives you an idea of what horse ownership is like (more riding time, sharing of upkeep costs) without having to take on the full responsibility of costs. The partial lease situation is less expensive than leasing a horse completely by yourself, but still allows you several days per week to work the horse. In the partial lease, boarding expenses are typically split between two individuals (usually the horse's owner or another lessee), in exchange for the lessee to care and ride for the horse 50% of the time. Schedules for the split riding time will be set up. Most start at $250 and go up (show horses will be much higher).
  • FULL LEASE: like owning a horse, without the cost of buying one! In the full lease situation, the lessee usually pays for all of the horse's boarding costs in addition to routine farrier and veterinary care in return for being able to use the horse when you like. The restrictions on the full lease are much less than on a partial lease, where the owner and lessee must communicate frequently about the shared details. The full lease usually does not restrict riding times and days, and also does not usually restrict access to the horse for special events such as horse shows. Base cost is at least board ($325) + an additional lease fee.
  • If you are interested in leasing a horse, please talk to Amara at your lesson.

    Do you accept part time students?
    I DO NOT accept part time students as my schedule is full with full time (1x week or more) riders.

    What weather conditions/holidays do you cancel lessons?
    Very rarely do lessons get canceled do to weather because of our wonderful indoor arena. Rain, Wind, Snow and Sun are typically not an issue.

    WINTER: If the actual temperature outside is below 10F we will not be holding lessons (the barn stays about 20 degrees warmer then the outside temp). Ice/Snow storms that leave uncleared/unsalted Ice on the main roads will also cancel lessons.

    SPRING/SUMMER: If the actual temperature is above 94F we will not be holding lessons. Severe Storms with Tornado Watches in Leavenworth County will also cancel lessons.

    HOLIDAYS: New Years Eve, Thanksgiving and Christmas lessons will not be held. All other holiday lessons will be held.

    Will you teach at an outside location?
    I am available for outside barns to book for clinics and judging. If a local barn is looking to book me for a few hour time slot for lessons each week, I am willing to do so (rates will be higher to cover travel).

    Can I work off my lesson?
    When available I am willing to work with current students 14+ years of age to work off a weekly lesson (for students without a car, this requires a parent willing to consistently bring/drop them off at the barn). Work would include jobs such as stall cleaning, watering/feeding horses, sweeping and turning out/bringing horses in from pasture.

    Is there a weight limit for riding?
    There does have to be a weight limit for the safety of the horses and riders. Riders using lesson horses need to be in good physical condition and under 220lbs. Riders over this weight will not be accepted into the program. Just think, the US Calvary had a weight limit of 140lbs- ouch!

    Do you offer Hippotherapy, therapeutic or special needs lessons?
    We do not offer hippotherapy, therapeutic or lessons for riders with special needs. I highly enourage riders with special needs to seek out a certified hippotherapy barn where your instuctor and assistant handlers will be specifically trained to help you with your childs needs.

    We do offer lead-line lessons and private lessons are willing to work with riders young riders 3+ who are interested in horses or adults who are working on overcoming fears in those lessons.

    What if my child decides they no longer want to ride?
    Sometimes young children are very excited to ride, only to find out the size of the animal is frightening. Depending on the individual child, sometimes it is good for their confidence for them to continue in lead line or private lessons and build up their abilities one-on-one with the instructor. At other times, it is better to wait until the child is older. At your first lesson we will evaluate your child and let you know what is the appropriate action.

    Current riders wishing to un-enroll at least 2 weeks in advance so that we may offer your spot to others. There are no refunds on monthly lesson payments if you choose to drop lessons in the middle of the month. If , however, you know you are not able to continue lessons after a certain date and you let us know before the start of the month we will only charge you at the beginning of the month for the number of lessons you will be taking.

    BOUNCED CHECKS will have a $35 fee in addition to the cost of the check. Late payment fee of $15 will also apply.